Questions on the West Central District Health Department application to get the COVID-19 vaccine are drawing criticism.
The application has two questions about the applicants’ sexual identity. Another question asks about the applicant’s housing and only low-income housing is in the list of answers.
At this point, people who are age 75 or older are filling out the applications.
The questions are:
- Which of the following best describes your gender?
(Answer choices) — Male; female; transgender male/female to male; transgender female/male to female; choose not to disclose; other (please specify.)
- Which of the following best describes your sexual identity?
Straight/heterosexual; bisexual; lesbian; gay or homosexual; don’t know; other (please specify.)
- Which of the following best describes your current housing?
Homeowner/renting; homeless shelter; living in the streets; public housing; doubling up with family or friends; choose not to disclose; other (please specify.)
Copies of the application were sent to the Bulletin, along with expressions of surprise, criticism and concern.
“Do they use that info to decide who gets a vaccine?” a woman who asked to remain anonymous said. “The questions seem very wrong. They make it sound like social and sexual status will decide if you get the vaccine.”
She wrote N/A beside the questions on the applications, meaning, “not applicable.”
A man who filled out the application on Tuesday said, “Some of the questions were absolutely ridiculous and had absolutely nothing to do with getting COVID vaccinations. None of their business.”
The Bulletin asked WCDHD Executive Director Shannon Vanderheiden Friday for an explanation. She has not responded.
Gov. Pete Ricketts spokesman Taylor Gage said Tuesday that the questions are not required by the state, but are a requirement of a federal grant that the local health department receives.